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szdaily -> Culture -> 
The Black Kids
    2020-09-30  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

Ashley is a senior in high school in Los Angeles in 1992. She is living the typical oblivious life of most teens. Everything changes one afternoon in April, when four LAPD officers are acquitted after beating a black man named Rodney King half to death. Suddenly, Ashley’s not just one of the girls. She’s one of the black kids.

She is vaguely aware of the riots and she knows that she should care, but she has more important things on her mind — a boy.

Ashley really struggles with the messages that she is told about being a girl with an additional layer of being a Black girl. “First things first: Be pretty. Never take up too much space; your breasts, arms, lips, hips, thighs and even your nose should be just so. If your body should spill over just so or not quite fill it up, well, honestly, I don’t know what to tell you. Just don’t. Be a good girl, but not too good; nobody likes that girl. Laugh, but not too loud; you’ll make them nervous. No, don’t be sour, never that, even if you’re having a bad day, month, year, life. Be smart, but never smarter than others; or they’ll think you’re uppity.”

Ashley goes to an elite private high school. And she is also Black. There are other Black Kids at her high school, but they are mostly on scholarships for sports or academics. Ashley is there because she is wealthy. She hangs out with the white kids and doesn’t really think much about it until she starts a rumor about one of the Black Kids. She knows almost immediately that it is bad. But she doesn’t know how to fix it. After Ashley’s friends find out a secret about her, they turn against her. The only person who is there for her is LaShawn and LaShawn is the boy that she started a rumor about.

With her world splintering around her, Ashley, along with the rest of Los Angeles, is left to question “Who is the us? And who is the them?”

“The Black Kids” really is the epitome of drama in high school in the 90s.

(SD-Agencies)

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